The yen fell against the dollar yesterday, with traders seeing little chance that Japan’s G20 peers will make a significant stand against aggressive monetary easing that has hammered the currency.
The euro retreated, puling away from a seven-week high against the dollar, with traders citing a media report where a former European Central Bank board member voiced concerns about the euro’s gains.
They said there were worries this may reflect the views of some ECB policymakers who are concerned about weak economic growth.
The dollar was up 0.2 per cent against the yen at 97.75 yen , although it remained below the four-year high of 99.95 yen set last week.
Markets await a Group of Twenty meeting beginning on Thursday for signs of how deeply the United States and other leading economies will question Japan’s policy on the basis of the yen weakness it implies.
But recent comments from officials so far have suggested that the group as a whole will not criticise the policy on the grounds that it is motivated by domestic economic concerns.
“The pullback in dollar/yen is probably now complete and we look for it to pull higher ... It should break 100 fairly quickly,” said Ian Stannard, head of European currency strategy at Morgan Stanley.
“The IMF and G20 appear very supportive of Japanese policy efforts.”
Many analysts believe that the abundance of global liquidity due to monetary easing in Japan and the United States will also lead to further weakness in the yen as Japanese domestic investors look to use it to buy overseas assets that give them better returns.
“I don’t think there will be any criticism (by the G20) especially now after the correction lower in dollar/yen,” said Marcus Hettinger, global FX strategist at Credit Suisse. He expected the dollar to hit 102 yen within the next three months.
The dollar was also helped as gold prices steadied after a hefty plunge on Monday. The drop in gold, triggered partly by concerns about slowing growth in China, had lifted the yen, which is often sought in times of financial uncertainty.
The euro cut its gains, however, to last trade down 0.25 per cent at 128.18 yen after a media report cited former member of the ECB Executive Board Lorenzo Bini Smaghi saying the central bank should find ways to stop the euro from gaining.
Traders also reported selling of the euro against the yen by hedge funds. The single currency is now some way off a three-year peak of 131.10 yen hit last week and was also 0.3 per cent lower against the dollar at $1.3127, pulling away from a seven-week high of $1.3202 hit on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, the Swedish crown fell after the Riksbank, the country’s central bank, held interest rates as expected but delayed plans for tighter policy well into next year.
This lifted the euro to a one-and-a-half month high around 8.4750 crowns.
“The Riksbank usually makes smaller changes to the rate path,” said Richard Falkenhall, currency strategist at SEB in Stockholm, adding that the rate path changes caught the market by surprise.
But he said SEB forecast the euro at 8.0 crowns in 12 months, based on an improving Swedish economy and expectations aggressive monetary easing elsewhere will boost flows into countries with strong fundamentals, including Sweden.